Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

Dubai Sports Council present former Chelsea star Didier Drogba with Medal of First Line of Defence

Drogba given honour for his support of council's ‘Be Fit, Be Safe’ campaign

Dubai Sports Council presents former Chelsea star Didier Drogba with Medal of First Line of Defence
Dubai Sports Council presents former Chelsea star Didier Drogba with Medal of First Line of Defence

Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba has been presented with the Medal of First Line of Defence for his support of Dubai Sports Council’s ‘Be Fit, Be Safe’ campaign.

Two-time African Football Player of the Year Drogba met with Saeed Hareb, the general secretary of DSC, and assistant secretary general, Nasser Aman Al Rahma, to discuss a number of projects and initiatives where the Ivorian is keen to collaborate with and invest in Dubai’s growing sports sector.

Drogba said: “I have been coming to Dubai since 2004-2005, and from that time I made a lot of friends who have also become family.

"There’s also the sports family and so it is important for me to come here to Dubai Sports Council and tell the Council that I am here as a sportsman, as someone who has a passion for activity.”

Considered one of Chelsea’s greatest, Drogba, who won four English Premier League titles and a Champions League crown in a decorated eight-year career with the London club, is looking for investment opportunities in Dubai.

“First, it is a place I have been coming to since 2004, and second, the people here are really friendly and welcoming, and have even become my brothers. Also for the quality of life, for the kids, for the security and for the overall quality,” said Drogba.

“The development here has also been amazing and I want to congratulate Dubai’s leadership for all their efforts to make sure people live here happy and in a safe place.”

Talking about the changes he has witnessed in Dubai, Drogba said: “Oh my God, the changes … I think it is impossible to describe it. You have to experience it.

"In 2005 you come here, and you see the evolution when you come in 2006, and then 2008. And now in 2020, it is a completely different country and I get lost sometimes. But that’s a good thing because it means there is development, which, for me, is vital for a country."

Drogba also urged everyone to keep playing sports and adopt a healthy lifestyle, because that could be their best defence against the virus.

“According to the time we are living in now, I think it is important to make people understand that sport makes you stronger, and when you are stronger – I am not saying that you don’t need to use precautions – but sport helps you to boost your immune system and to fight against this virus,” said Drogba.

“I think that is the best way to fight this virus – to stay active, to move, to have a strong immune system, and then you can resist. I really want to spread this message to the whole population of UAE and say that: to be safe, we need to be cautious, we need to respect our life, and we need to respect the life of others.”

Updated: November 18, 2020 03:28 PM

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